Unmade Roads
by Alan Frank

Franks’ first full collection of poems is a rich mixture of wit and lyricism. His style ranges from exquisite miniatures to ambitious narratives which breathe new life into the English ballad form. Here too are parodies of and tributes to such masters as John Donne, Matthew Arnold, John Clare and Philip Larkin. These poems display a mastery of style and an unfailing ear for the harmonies and discords of human affairs.

97 pages
148mm x 210mm
ISBN 978-0-9547959-8-6

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'Poetry of great musicality.'
- Jo Shapcott, President of the Poetry Society

'A modern day Sydney Carter.'
- John Rety, co-founder of Torriano Poetry

'... worthy of Shelley. Franks is the genuine thing.'
- Professor Ross Woodman, author of The Apocalyptic Vision in the Poetry of Shelley

About the Author

Alan Franks has been a long established feature writer for The Times and has interviewed many top figures in the world of music (Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen, Stephen Sondheim, Yehudi Menuhin, Philip Glass, Ravi Shankar, Andre Previn); theatre/film (Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Woody Allen, Mickey Rourke, Peter Hall, Jonathan Miller) and literature (Muriel Spark, James Baldwin, Elmore Leonard, Ian Rankin, Anthony Powell, Laurie Lee).

A collection of his Alan Franks’s Diary columns was published as a book, Real Life With Small Children Under Foot, which he read as a series on Radio 4. He has twice been nominated for a British Press Award.

Alan Franks’s previous novel, Boychester’s Bugle drew ecstatic reviews. The Times Literary Supplement called it 'splendidly funny.' For Alan Hollinghurst in The Observer, it resembled Keith Waterhouse, while The Tablet saw similarities with Flann O'Brien and early Kingsley Amis. The veteran farceur Tom Sharpe found it 'brilliantly comic.'

Going Over, a collection of short novels published in 2010 by Muswell Press opens with the winner of a national novella competition.

Franks is the author of many plays, including The Mother Tongue, which starred Prunella Scales and Gwen Taylor. ('English-Chekhov' wrote Sheridan Morley in The Spectator); The Edge of the Land, about the great floods of 1953, and Previous Convictions, a black domestic comedy about family duty and recession.

With the singer Patty Vetta he has released four albums of his songs, including The Wishfulness Waltz, which was recorded by Fairport Convention. He is currently collaborating as a lyricist with the saxophonist and composer Tim Whitehead who was current artist in residence in Tate Britain.

His poems have won several prizes, including the Wigtown Competition, Scotland’s largest. Unmade Roads, his most recent collection, includes his winning entries in the Plough and Petra Kenney competitions. He has been described, by the late John Rety, co-founder of Torriano Poetry, as 'a modern day Sydney Carter.'